On Sunday afternoon, Cleveland Browns fans were treated to a thrilling 13-10 win over the rival Pittsburgh Steelers on a game-winning field goal. Aside from the historic rivalry, Browns fans were elated to welcome legendary play-by-play announcer Jim Donovan back to the broadcast booth, calling his first game since Week 1 after undergoing treatment for chronic lymphocytic leukemia. The situation warmed the heart of 92.3 The Fan morning host Ken Carman.
Donovan is in the midst of his 25th season calling games for the team and also works as the sports anchor for 3News (WKYC), a role he will resume on Monday. He had previously been diagnosed with the disease but experienced a relapse last year, resulting in a more aggressive treatment method to effectively combat it.
The Browns’ victory puts the team at 7-3 on the season despite losing quarterback Deshaun Watson for the remainder of the season with a shoulder injury. Donovan was on the call for the victory, which circulated across social media and elicited praise from football fans at large welcoming him back to the broadcast booth. At the start of the game, fans seated in front of the broadcast booth at Cleveland Browns Stadium turned around and cheered for Donovan as he began his work for the day.
“I know he got a little choked up later on. I mean, how could you not?,” 92.3 The Fan morning co-host Ken Carman said on Monday. “To see the outpouring of love that the Browns fans had for him – and the place was going nuts; the lid was coming off the place when he went out there and smashed the guitar.”
Before the game, the Browns honored Donovan by allowing him to engage in the ceremonial guitar smash. After the contest ended, head coach Kevin Stefanski presented him with a game ball in the team’s locker room, completing a long-awaited return to the broadcast booth and conveying a sense of respect between team personnel and the franchise’s heralded play-by-play announcer.
“The franchise has had an up-and-down journey since ‘99, and again, radio is a place where there’s truly a feeling of, ‘The person is with you,’ you have fun with that person and Jim is,” Ken Carman continued. “We said this to Jim on Friday – Jim is one of the people that can still, in this business, give his opinion while the game is going on.
“You hear the horror stories of other teams where guys are muzzled about the teams, and the teams are not good and it becomes just another kind of P.R. for the team, and Jim has always – he’s not sitting there rubbing it in their noses if they haven’t been good obviously – but he’s certainly been a guy, and we know that he’s shared his opinion.”
Earlier this year, the Baltimore Orioles suspended play-by-play broadcaster Kevin Brown after he reportedly made remarks portraying the team in a poor light. In reality, he was reading a statistic outlining the team’s difficulties winning ballgames against the Tampa Bay Rays, statistics that came from the team’s game notes.
The situation caused several broadcasters and fans to implore the Orioles to add him back on the broadcasts, which ultimately ended up occurring after two weeks away from the team. In witnessing restrictions placed on broadcasters over the years, Carman is grateful that Donovan has made his return to the air.
“To have Jim back where he is – through all the changes; through all the hope of this quarterback and that quarterback, and this coach and that coach; two different owners,” Ken Carman explained, “to have Jim back, it means so much to the fanbase because he’s the storyteller; he’s the one that paints the picture for those who can’t be there.”
KNBR’s Brian Murphy Speaks for First Time After Paul McCaffrey Laid Off
“Paulie Mac is my guy, will forever be my guy. The best thing I could ever wish anyone is that you get to work with someone as loyal, energetic, funny, consistent as the guy his Jersey buddies call ‘Smack’.”
Earlier this week, KNBR underwent a round of layoffs, affecting a pair of programs on the Bay Area sports station, including the departure of longtime morning host Paul McCaffrey. His longtime partner — Brian Murphy — has taken to X to share his thoughts.
In a thread to X, Murphy shared his admiration for McCaffrey, whom he hosted Murph and Mac with for 18 years.
“Paulie Mac is my guy, will forever be my guy. The best thing I could ever wish anyone is that you get to work with someone as loyal, energetic, funny, consistent as the guy his Jersey buddies call ‘Smack’,” wrote Murphy. “So much love.”
He then shared that everything listeners and fans of the program have shared on social media has been read by the duo, and thanked them for the outpouring of love and support.
Finally, Murphy addressed his future. Fill-in host Dieter Kurtenbach shared on Thursday he did not have a definitive answer about Murphy’s future with the Cumulus-owned station.
However, Brian Murphy has shared he will return to the airwaves on Monday morning.
“I’ll be back Monday morning on KNBR with our guy Markus (Waterboy) Boucher,” Murphy wrote. “Come on. It’s Niners-Eagles. Wouldn’t miss it. As Paulie Mac’s board itself would say: The show goes on.”
Mike Mulligan: Sports Radio is More Difficult Than Other Formats Think
He shared that he has worked with people on morning shows that he has seen come to a station fully hungover who play music and proceed to sit on the couch.
On Friday morning’s edition of Mully & Haugh on 670 The Score in Chicago, co-host Mike Mulligan outlined the difference with music radio that hosts are not continuously talking to the audience, instead taking mic breaks and then interspersing commentary with different songs.
Filling in for David Haugh on Friday’s edition of the program was Gabe Ramirez, who used to work in the format with B96 as the host of its morning show. Mulligan’s assertion about the differences between the two formats resulted in a conversation about the differences between the grenres, with Ramirez explaining the difficulties that music radio hosts face on the air.
“The music station’s still creating content,” Ramirez said. “You get to have a guest – since I am going to defend my music stations – you get to have a guest and toss them a softball question and listen to them rant for five minutes.”
Mulligan disagreed with this perspective, conveying that he does not feel their program provides guests with easy questions. Additionally, he shared that he has worked with people on morning shows that he has seen come to a station fully hungover who play music and proceed to sit on the couch.
“As a former sportswriter, we sit around and we talk about sports,” Mulligan said. “We talk about the sports we cover and we talk about other sports.”
“You have to talk about Justin Fields seven days in a row,” Ramirez replied. “As a morning show for music, you have to come up with new content every day.”
Rather than taking umbrage towards the response, Mike Mulligan explained that the key to effectively performing his job is being able to discuss important stories of the day even when they are not the headlines. Furthermore, he expounded on the commitment that it takes to watch the amount of sporting events and to be properly informed on the action so he is able to take the air.
“That I will agree with,” Ramirez said. “I’ve told people this – they ask me, ‘What’s the biggest difference?’ The prep, without question, is way more difficult in sports radio because everyone that’s listening to you already knows the answers and you have to be equally if not more informed in all of those things.”
Minnesota Twins Set to Tab Cory Provus as New TV Voice, Kris Atteberry as Lead Radio Announcer
Provus has been the radio voice of the Minnesota Twins since 2012.
After Dick Bremer exited the Minnesota Twins TV booth in October, the search began for his replacement. The MLB franchise didn’t have to look far, though.
Twins radio voice Cory Provus is reportedly set to become the new TV play-by-play broadcaster for the club, according to a report from Dan Hayes of The Athletic.
Provus has been the radio voice of the Minnesota Twins since 2012. Many immediately tabbed him as the club’s replacement for Bremer, who retired after 40 seasons as the lead television voice of the American League club. Before joining the team in 2012, Provus worked for the Milwaukee Brewers as the number two broadcaster after spending two seasons as the radio pregame host for the Chicago Cubs.
Meanwhile, Kris Atteberry has been signaled as the person set to replace Provus inside the franchise’s radio booth. He has served as the pregame and postgame host for the Minnesota Twins Radio Network since 2007. Atteberry joined the club after spending five years calling games for the then-Independent St. Paul Saints from 2002-2006.
While the television and radio broadcast crews appear set, questions remain about where the team will televise its games in 2024. The club’s contract with Bally Sports North has reportedly expired, and it has yet to sign an agreement with the bankruptcy-laden RSN, or with a local over-the-air television station.